Car bomb kills four in Libya’s Benghaz
Benghazi, birthplace of Libya's 2011 revolution which toppled longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi, has been the scene of daily clashes for the past two years. (AFP/Abdullah Doma)
A car bomb attack near a hospital in Libya's second city of Benghazi has claimed the lives of at least four people and wounded more than a dozen others, medical and security sources say.
The attack took place in front of the coastal city's al-Jalaa hospital on Monday. Medical sources said at least 13 people were also injured in the fatal incident.
The death toll could rise as some of the injured are said to be in a critical condition.
Meanwhile, Mohamed al-Jali, an officer in Libya's special forces, said it was not immediately clear if the attack was carried out by a bomber.
Some reports indicate that the explosion was caused by a bomb that had been planted in the car.
Benghazi has been the scene of daily clashes for the past two years between armed forces of Marshal Khalifa Haftar and militants holding onto pockets of the city.
Haftar and a faction of loyalist army personnel have taken it upon themselves to fight extremist militants in Benghazi.
The renegade general used to be an ally of Libya’s long-time dictator, Muammar Gaddafi. He, however, joined the Libyan revolution against Gaddafi in 2011.
Libya has been dominated by violence since a NATO military intervention followed the 2011 uprising that led to the overthrow and death of Gaddafi. Rival governments were set up in Tripoli and eastern Libya back in 2014.
Last December, however, the two administrations agreed on forming the Government of National Accord (GNA) after months of UN-brokered talks. The presidential council of the GNA arrived in Tripoli in March in a bid to restore order to the oil-rich North African country.
Haftar has refused to profess allegiance to the internationally-recognized GNA and his forces have been fighting militants in Benghazi since 2014. The opponents of Haftar say he is essentially involved in a struggle for power and is undermining the country.